By Lance Tominaga, ESPN Honolulu Web Editor.
As 2021 draws to a close, we bid aloha to some of the prominent sports figures that we sadly lost during the year. From baseball legend Hank Aaron to beloved Rainbow Warrior QB Colt Brennan, we salute these men and women who contributed so much to our lives as sports fans:
1 – FLOYD LITTLE: Legendary Denver Broncos running back and Hall of Famer.
2 – PAUL WESTPHAL: Former Phoenix Suns All-Star and NBA head coach.
7 – TOMMY LASORDA – Hall of Fame manager for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
19 – DON SUTTON: Hall of Fame pitcher who won 324 MLB games over 23 seasons.
22 – HANK AARON: Baseball Hall of Famer and former home run king.
28 – JOHN CHANEY: Legendary head basketball coach for the Temple Owls.
5 – LEON SPINKS: Former boxing heavyweight champion and Olympic gold medal winner.
5 – BUTCH REED: Pro wrestling great who wrestled from the late 1970s through 2013.
8 – MARTY SHOTTENHEIMER: Longtime NFL head coach.
15 – VINCENT JACKSON: Former 3x NFL Pro Bowl wide receiver.
4 – MARK PAVELICH: Member of 1980 “Miracle on Ice” U.S. Olympic hockey team.
13- MARVELOUS MARVIN HAGLER: Former undisputed middleweight boxing champion.
22 – ELGIN BAYLOR: Legendary Los Angeles Laker forward and Hall of Famer.
25 – STAN ALBECK: Longtime NBA head coach.
27 – HOWARD SCHNELLENBERGER: Longtime football coach. Won 1983 national championship with Miami Hurricanes.
13 – BOB “SLICK” LEONARD: Longtime NBA player, coach and color commentator.
25 – MIKE DAVIS: Longtime safety for the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders.
2 – BOBBY UNSER: Indy Car legend and 3x Indy 500 winner.
10 – COLT BRENNAN: Record-setting University of Hawaii QB and Heisman Trophy finalist.
14 – JEROME YOUNG: Longtime hardcore pro wrestling icon known as “New Jack.”
28 – MARK EATON: 2x NBA Defensive Player of the Year with the Utah Jazz.
7 – JIM FASSEL: Longtime NFL head coach who led the New York Giants to Super Bowl XXXV.
12 – JIM “MUDCAT” GRANT: In 1965, he became the first black pitcher in the American League to post 20 wins.
19 – ROBERT KEKAULA: Beloved Island sportscaster, football announcer and entertainer.
12 – “MR. WONDERFUL” PAUL ORNDORFF: Hall of Fame pro wrestler.
3 – JODY HAMILTON: Hall of Fame pro wrestler known as the infamous “Masked Assassin.”
5 – J.R. RICHARD: Longtime Houston Astros pitcher.
8 – BOBBY BOWDEN: All-time college football coaching great.
10 – TONY ESPOSITO: NHL legend and All-Star goalie for the Chicago Blackhawks.
1 – SHANNON CLAIRE SPRUILL: Former pro wrestling star known as “Daffney.”
7 – SAM “BAM” CUNNINGHAM: Longtime New England Patriots running back.
31 – MIGUEL MENA: Elite thoroughbred racing jockey with more than 2,000 career wins.
13 – SAM HUFF: Hall of Fame linebacker for the New York Giants.
27 – CURLEY CULP: Hall of Fame defensive tackle and the 1975 NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
28 – LEE ELDER: Golf pioneer who in, 1975, became the first black golfer to play in the Masters.
29 – LAMARR HOYT: All-Star pitcher and 1983 Cy Young winner.
2 – DARLENE HARD: Hall of Fame tennis star who won 21 major titles (three singles, 18 doubles).
8 – BLACKJACK LANZA: Hall of Fame pro wrestling legend.
9 – DEMARYIUS THOMAS: Pro Bowl receiver and Super Bowl champion with the Denver Broncos.
9 – AL UNSER, SR.: Auto racing legend and 4x Indy 500 winner.
28 – JOHN MADDEN: Legendary Hall of Fame Oakland Raiders head coach and football commentator.
31 – SAM JONES: Boston Celtics legend and Hall of Fame guard.